Does my wife have to be on my car insurance?

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Here's what you need to know...
  • Car insurance does not require that you add your wife to your policy
  • Insurance companies may offer discounts to married couples
  • Adding your wife to your policy does not mean you are guaranteed a discount

If you’re newly married, you’ve probably noticed that a lot of things have changed. From your bank account to your tax returns, everything you used to manage on your own suddenly starts to merge together with your spouse.

Now that you’ve tied the knot, you may be wondering if you have to add your wife to your car insurance policy.

Start comparison shopping today to make sure you have the right coverage at the best cost. Enter your zip code in our FREE tool to get started!

Checking your State’s Laws and Regulations

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Although each state has its own specific car insurance laws, it is generally not a requirement that you have to add your wife to your policy.

It is always important for you to check with your state’s Department of Motor Vehicles to see if there are any special rules or regulations relating specifically to marriage.

Even though in most cases you don’t have to add your wife to your policy, you may want to think about it as there could be some significant advantages to combining car insurance policies with your spouse.

Adding your Wife to Your Car Insurance Policy

Many factors are considered when determining insurance premiums. Often times, there are discounts you can take advantage of. When it comes to car insurance there are some great perks to being married.

Insurance companies tend to smile upon married couples because accident statistics show that married couples are less likely to get into an accident resulting in an injury than those who are single.

Married couples are also associated with being more responsible and stable as their priorities change to caring for more than just themselves. By just being married you could see your rates lower drastically.

Keeping Separate Car Insurance Policies

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Saving money is very important when it comes to car insurance. It’s not always in your best interest, however, to combine your policies after marriage. There are some instances where you may want to keep your policies separate.

Credit history is an area that insurance companies look at when determining rates. Paying bills and driving doesn’t seem to go hand-in-hand, but to the insurance company it signifies your level of responsibility.

Insurance companies are looking for a high credit score, meaning you pay your bills on time, apply for credit in a responsible fashion, and keep your credit card balances low.

If you have a 760 credit score but your wife is working with a 300 credit score, then you may want to think about having separate policies.

In a combined policy, the insurance company will take the average of both you and your wife’s credit scores when determining rates. In this case, it would lower the overall score and you could possibly be facing higher premiums with a combined policy.

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If you have credit that is so-so and your wife has excellent credit, it could level your scores and reduce your overall premium. Although a 2007 Supreme Court Ruling says that insurance companies do not have to disclose how much the penalty fee is for bad credit, it is estimated that drivers with bad credit pay 20 to 50 percent more than those with good credit.

Driving records can have a major effect on car insurance rates. Serious convictions such as a DUI can make it difficult for drivers to even find insurance companies that want to cover them.

Many drivers with prior convictions have to deal with insurance companies that specialize in high-risk drivers, which usually means no discounts and extremely high rates.

If you or your spouse has had a DUI conviction on your record, it’s probably best to split the policies instead of combining them and making you both suffer. The best way to separate these policies is to assign the driver with the DUI with the car that is the least expensive to insure.

If both you and your wife have good credit and stellar driving records, you’ll probably see a significant change by adding her to your insurance because there are other advantages to a joint policy as well. Insurers want as much business as possible, and they often give discounts when you buy more coverage.

Shopping Around for the Best Car Insurance Rates

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Even if you don’t add your wife to the policy, just by notifying the insurance company that you are married could have an affect on your insurance rates.

If you do add your wife onto your policy, you could earn a multi-car discount along with a variety of other discounts. Here are some other ways you could save money on car insurance rates:

  • Combining home insurance with auto insurance
  • Driving under a certain amount of miles
  • Installing anti-theft devices in your vehicles
  • Falling under a good driver category
  • Completing a defensive driving course
  • Being a member of a certain organization
  • Working in a low-risk occupation

Marriage is wonderful in more ways than one. Just remember to think strategically when you are searching for the right kind of car insurance. Don’t forget to compare quotes in order to choose the best option for you and your spouse.

Enter your zip code in our FREE comparison tool to get started!

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